Life's Simple 7 scores, created to track and improve cardiovascular risks and outcomes, decreased over an 18-year period that ended in 2016, researchers told an American Heart Association meeting. Average individual scores on the 14-point scale -- which factors in smoking, diet, physical activity, body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels -- were less than 7, with non-Hispanic white women under age 45 showing the best scores.
A study in Diabetes Care, based on 6,234 individuals without type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, showed that those who had high CV health initially or had changed from moderate to high CV health or from low to moderate or high CV health over a median follow-up of 13.5 years were at a significantly lower risk for diabetes, compared with patients who had stable low CV health. Researchers also found similar trends in the risk for impaired fasting glucose by the pattern of CV health change.
A meta-analysis in Diabetologia, based on data from 16 studies involving a total of 1,116,248 people, revealed that those who practiced the healthiest lifestyles had a 75% reduced risk for incident type 2 diabetes, compared with those with the least-healthy lifestyles. Researchers assessed lifestyle factors such as physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, sleep duration, diet and obesity or overweight and found that among those with type 2 diabetes, those with the healthiest lifestyles had a lower risk for incident cardiovascular disease and for cancer, CV and all-cause mortality.
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that less than 1 in 4 US adult patients with diabetes had controlled levels of their blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure and did not smoke from 2005 to 2016, with those who were female, nonwhite and ages 18 to 44 less likely to achieve these composite targets, compared with insured patients who were most likely to achieve treatment targets. Findings revealed that "despite major advances in diabetes drug discovery and movement to develop innovative care delivery models over the past two decades, achievement of diabetes care targets has not improved" in the US since 2005, said study lead author Pooyan Kazemian.
A study presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension meeting showed 14% of patients with resistant hypertension were seen by a hypertension specialist within one year of enrolling in cardiac rehabilitation, and 6% were prescribed a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist. Within two years, 66% of rehab patients with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension were hospitalized.
Nurses and policymakers both have ways of working around the health care system's flaws, failures and inefficiencies, writes Theresa Brown of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. "Increasingly, the entire health care system is built on workarounds -- many of which we don't always recognize as such," including the Affordable Care Act, Brown writes.